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Saturday May 25, 2024

Prince Harry gets relief from UK court as he prepares to meet King Charles

Prince Harry UK court battle: Judge punishes Home Office for rule breach

By Web Desk
April 15, 2024
Prince Harry gets relief from court ahead of UK visit
Prince Harry gets relief from court ahead of UK visit

Prince Harry, who suffered defeat to Home Office in High Court in February, has been given a legal costs discount over the department's rule breach.

The Duke of Sussex was given a 10 percent discount on his legal fees in his High Court battle over his UK security after the Government was punished for delaying the provision of key documents, according to a new report.

King Charles III's younger son took legal action against the Home Office over the February 2020 decision that he should receive a different degree of protection when he returned to the UK after he stepped down as senior working royals and relocated to the US.

Harry lost the case earlier this year, with High Court judge Sir Peter Lane finding that "there has not been any unlawfulness in reaching the decision" to revise his security, adding: "Any departure from the policy was justified. The decision was not irrational. The decision was not marred by procedural unfairness."

Now new court documents, seen by The Times, reveal that Sir Peter has refused Harry permission to appeal and also that the Home Office has been "penalised" for delaying the release of certain information, dubbed "crucial" by Harry's team - about the workings of Ravec - the committee that arranges security for members of the royal family and other VIPs.

The Home Office, asper the outlet, failed to mention three categories of people for whom Ravec provides state protection when it should have legally done so.

The three categories are role-based individuals - like royals - other VIPs and those who need occasional support. This meant the prince's legal team had not been made aware of the "other VIP" category, which, according to them, was crucial to his claim.

Harry's team initially sought "a reduction of 50-60 percent because of the way in which the documents and information were disclosed" by the UK government.

Sir Lane said that while the Home Office had not acted in bad faith, "the defendant's breaches are, in all the circumstances, sanctionable".

Reacting to the development, a Home Office spokesman told the Times: "While we are pleased with the decision of the court to refuse permission to appeal, it would be inappropriate to comment further on ongoing legal proceedings".

Prince Harry's legal team are expected to take the case to the Court of Appeal. 

The Duke of Sussex, wo is set to return to the UK in May for an event to mark the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games, is expected to meet his cancer stricken dad King Charles and ailing sister-in-law Kate Middleton during a solo trip.